I arrived last night and today is my first day in Nairobi.
Last night, I looked out the window as we made our descent. I knew Nairobi was a big city, but it didn’t really hit me until I saw all the lights and how vastly the city sprawled. It’s enormous.
I had no issues at immigration. The airport staff were all really friendly and helpful. People working at airports in the U.S. (particularly JFK) could take a few lessons. I was truly welcomed.
The drive to the hotel was smooth. I stared out the window, completely wide-eyed. I haven’t felt this awestruck since I moved to New York when I was 22.
We’re staying at the Tribe Hotel, which is really nice. Some lobby photos below:
It’s winter, or near the end of winter here. The temperature is in the low 70s Fahrenheit (low 20s Celsius) and it’s sunny and fairly dry (just a tiny touch of humidity, not enough to frizz hair or even put a wave to hair). The pool, sadly, is closed since it’s “cold” but that’s all right. There is plenty for me to do.
The hotel is across from The Village Market, an upscale mall with a nice outdoor food court. I have a feeling we’ll do a good amount of shopping there. Here is where I found a couple shops that I had heard about from others as well as from my own online research. In particular:
- Nakumatt – I’m still getting my head around this one. It’s sort of like a Target. General goods? You can get a lot of basic household goods there. I have a feeling we’ll be going there more than a few times once we settle into a home.
- Lintons Beauty – this may become my new Sephora. They carry a lot of brands including Clinique and Clarins. They also have a nail bar, using Essie polishes
- Speaking of makeup, there is a MAC there.
- Salon Malibu – which is supposed to a great place for ex-pats to get hair done, especially color. I’ll need to ask people on the ground what they really think, but it seems promising.
Since today is Friday, I was able to go to the Maasai Market. It’s just behind The Village Market (an easy, short, and safe walk). I walked around and was amazed. The market is filled with beautiful handcrafted work including jewelry, decorations, kikoys, and more. I see J. and I going there to get some decorations for our home.
So…it’s a market. You’ll be approached – think of it as being wooed. Just keep walking until you see something that interests you. Remember to bargain. I got a few items. I think I did all right with the haggling. I’ll get better with practice. It’s fun place and I highly recommend a visit.
After the Maasai Market I went back to The Village Market and had authentic(?) Kenyan food. I don’t know….but it was good. I had some grilled fish, spinach and a Kenyan-style chapati (which didn’t seem different from an Indian chapati to me). You’ll find lots of other options in the food court including German, Italian, Thai, Persian, Indian, Turkish, and more.
My favorite part of my meal was washing it down with Krest. I had it in Zanibar a few years ago and it became one of my favorite soft drinks – and I don’t even like soda.
That’s my first day so far. I’m so excited for everything that comes next!